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Stearns and Sherburne county pegged for more DWI patrols

Stearns and Sherburne county pegged for more DWI patrols Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The 13 Minnesota counties with the highest combined totals of alcohol-related traffic deaths and serious injuries will see increased drunken driving patrols.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the patrols will be increased through September.

The 13 counties are Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, St. Louis, Dakota, Wright, Olmsted, Rice, Washington, Stearns, Sherburne, Scott and Carver.

DPS' Office of Traffic Safety says Sherburne County is new to the list, and Itasca County has been taken off the list since last year.

Officers will use electronic message boards and heavy patrols. Ads will also encourage people to avoid driving while impaired.

There were 131 alcohol-related deaths in 2010, a record low. Officials say alcohol-related deaths and injuries are decreasing, but still account for one-third of the state's total traffic deaths each year.

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